Damaris Luhn, Germany
I was inspired by the "Votivkirche" in Vienna, where I lived for a few years, and also a beautiful painted picture of an underwater palace. So I combined these two main inspirations and created this "Sunken Cathedral" corset. The main part are the big gothic windows, which narrow down towards the hips and end end in pillars standing on a tiled floor. I wanted to give the impression that the viewer is standing at chequered floor, watching towards the windows.
Attached at the hip is a skeleton of an overgrown cloister, which adds more dimension and a surreal shape to the silhouette of the design.
The base of the corset is made of seven panels each side. The two front ones are of blue dupioni silk fused with coutil. I only had 30cm of it, but I was so inspired by the color, that I decided to use it nonetheless. Therefore I had to use satin at the backpanel, but added a little remaining fabric under the application at the back. The rest is made with black mesh, which I didn't used before. It was quite interesting to work with, as I also had to do some external boning cases, also a first to me.
The front is decorated with a hand-cut gothic window appliqué (sadly I have no lasercutter available). I also added machine-stitched glass frames at the inner part of the appliqué. At the front part I had to add all the boning cases by hand, as I didn't want to sew through all of the stitching and the appliqués.
The front part is embroidered with a lot of pearls and beads for details and the floor is made of Swarovski crystals.
The hips are decorated with two layers of lace for a underwatery structure, and embroidered with glass pearls to imitate little water droplets.
The two hip pieces are made of black worbla and millinery wire.
The pattern was very curvy and I struggled a bit with making it as neat as I wanted to, but it turned out okay and I learned a lot working with the mix of different materials.
What was it like to compete this year? What would you say to someone who is on the fence about entering next year?
With only three weeks of time due to my day job and a commission I was working on until the end of December, time was my main problem. I wasn't sure I would even make it in time. But I learned a lot, pushed myself and had so much fun working on a personal project again!